A quick note before you dive in: there are several potentially triggering topics in this article due to the backstory of some of the characters mentioned, including but not limited to domestic violence, suicide, and abuse that occurs in a psychiatric hospital.
So, the saga continues. The Twilight Storytellers—sponsored by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, Lions Gate, Women in Film, Facebook, and Volvo—is a contest designed to encourage more women to enter into the film business. All screenplays were written by women about various Twilight characters from the series. They just released the seven short films that are now up for fan deliberation before they’re set to announce a winner.
After watching these films and as a fan of the book series—specifically, the minor characters—I immediately thought back to how I’d always wanted Twilight to have its own video game. There are many strong women characters who were lost in the controversy of Bella’s weaknesses and the dysfunction of her relationship with Edward. I think the rebirth of the Twilight mania through these short films is the perfect time to start shaking hands and signing deals to create a video game, which would welcome a whole new audience to the community. Not to mention it would be a great time to bring more women specifically into the games industry (*nudgenudge* Girls Make Games *winkwink*).
But what would it all look like? I’m thinking a game similar to Telltale’s The Walking Dead miniseries, if you will. Each episode would feature a different character with the possibility of all of them meeting in another game. Based off the short films, the episodes would feature the following characters: Alice, Esme, Esme, Benjamin, and Jane/Alec.
Episode 1: Alice
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Alice’s backstory, she was taken to a psychiatric hospital because of her visions, and due to the treatment there, she doesn’t remember who changed her into a vampire. The Twilight Storytellers covered Alice in three interpretations, and I think Alice’s episode could be played through in three phases.
Alice and her memories: As seen in The Mary Alice Brandon File, Alice is slowly losing visions of her family and a sense of who she is. The game could be presented in a similar way where you play as Alice interacting with and fighting to keep the memories of her past through various significant events.
Alice and her transformation: The Groundskeeper is an edgy Western interpretation of Alice’s change. I think the action sequences in this can really showcase what it is like to be a newborn. She can wake up and be drawn to humans while fighting against her undeniable thirst for human blood, but you have the choice of whether to let her succumb to her thirst.
Alice and her visions: We’ve Met Before covers the romance of Jasper and Alice’s first encounter, but I think Alice’s visions can be a great way to piece all of these stories together. Alice has visions of Carlisle and Esme, her family-to-be, which will take us into the next episode.
Episode 2: Esme
Esme’s backstory is that of domestic violence and an attempted suicide. Masque follows her adjustment into newborn vampire life, struggling to resist temptation. Although a maternal figure on the surface, Esme’s newborn phase and even strength to overcome abuse would be great to experience in a game.
The game could follow a similar storyline to Masque: Carlisle and Esme go to a work function and experience a triggering situation that will send Esme into a protective state. Again, you have decisions to make as to whether she will kill, harm, or abstain and be a bystander in whatever situation she is placed in with human pulses surrounding her.
The episode ends with Esme finding a picture of Carlisle with the Volturi. This will jump into Jane’s storyline next.
Episode 3: Jane & Alec
Ah yes, Dakota Fanning—I mean Jane. Consumed does an amazing job telling the horrific tale of Jane and her brother Alec’s transformation. In the game, we would open similarly to the short cutscene with Aro making their acquaintance for the first time. Jane and Alec are unique in that they still have a significant storyline to play through as humans.
Jane and Alec come from a poor household and seem to run errands for their mother. The town, however, marks them as difference and begins a witch hunt. Much of the game can explore this, using a bit of stealth mechanics before, eventually, they are forced to be captured and burned at the stake—only to be saved by Aro.
It ends with the Volturi taking Jane and Alec back to Italy and passing Amun, a character from the next episode, on their way inside.
Episode 4: Benjamin
Benjamin is a vampire from Egypt who can manipulate the elements (almost like Aang and Korra from The Last Airbender franchise). Sunrise tells the tale of his backstory, including his time in the poorest areas of Cairo, his transformation, and rekindling a romance. The storyline of the game would be much the same.
Starting off with him making money impressing crowds with his elemental bending abilities, Benjamin would then run off with Tia, a childhood friend. You could play as Tia, pickpocketing the crowd with some stealth skills, or as Benjamin, distracting the crowd so that Tia doesn’t get caught. After splitting the money they earned, he would have a fight with his uncle regarding a fair share of pay. At this point, Amun enters the picture to kill that uncle—only to change Benjamin.
The last part of the episode is for romance. Benjamin must find Tia so they can run off together, just like he promised they would when they were younger.
Come on, Twilight! This is the perfect opportunity: three women and a POC in leading roles? Start empowering more diverse voices in the gaming industry just like you have in the film industry! What do you all think? Did you like the Storytellers episodes? Do you think Twilight should be over with? Let me know @GLaDOS_hype!